There’s something very, very special about Billy Porter. Let’s not forget that Mr. Porter is a Grammy®, Emmy®, and twice Tony® award winner and he’s a hyphenate – a singer/composer/director/author/actor, and playwright.
He’s about to bring all of these skill sets and experience to his newest venture, Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume One.
For six weeks this spring, Porter will hit 25 U.S. cities, kicking off on April 29 in Seattle, Washington and stopping in Los Angeles, as well as his hometown of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and concluding in Mashantucket, CT at Foxwoods Resort Casino on June 3.
The Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume One will be fronted by Billy telling his life story through song and backed by a full band and a video installation. This 90-minute powerhouse event will feature his chart-topping hits “Love Is on the Way” and “Love Yourself,” a tinge of Broadway, a nod to Pose, and stunning performances of future pop classics from his forthcoming new album, Black Mona Lisa. This is an experience not to be missed.
Here is what Billy Porter had to share about his upcoming tour.
L.A. Sentinel: Excited that you are coming to Los Angeles. When is that, Billy?
Billy Porter: May 6th.
LAS: In a sentence. Why did you create this tour? There must be an emotional reason behind making such a big move across the country.
BP: It’s really the first time that I’ve been able to fully express myself and who I am through my music. Through my mainstream pop music space. It’s like my magnum opus. It’s everything to me. You’ll really get a glimpse into who I am even deeper with this music.
LAS: You started your career in 1997 with the release of his self-titled (aka “Untitled”) debut album which spawned the Top 10 “Bubbling Under” single, “Show Me,” and the monster ballad, “Love Is On The Way,” which also appeared at the pivotal moment in the film, “First Wives Club.”
BP: Facts. I released “At the Corner of Broadway + Soul” (2005), “Billy’s Back on Broadway” (2014), and “The Soul of Richard Rodgers” (2017) featuring Pentatonix, India.Arie, Leslie Odom Jr., and Cynthia Erivo, among others.
LAS: Your biography is crazy long. Let’s talk about Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume One. A lot of people don’t realize that you are such a strong singer. Am I right?
BP: Well … they are people who are late to the game. Growing up I started to sing in the church at the age of five. The gift was sent down with me from on high. My singing voice gave me the courage to branch out to do other things. I studied to be an actor.
LAS: Billy, you’re a wonderful actor. I saw you before you received your Tony Award for “Kinky Boots” and I knew what I saw – amazing!
BP: Thank you. [Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume One] is the first time, musically, that I am expressing what I want to say. You know, because I have lived a life. I’m 53 years old, and I have a lot to say. I’ve been through a lot and I want it to be a celebration of life.
LAS: Say it again.
BP: [ Black Mona Lisa Tour: Volume One] is a celebration of life.